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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  February 12, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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[ music playing ] hello, everyone, welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up. whiplash is yet another deadline looms over another government shutdown. i am joined by a republican who is not afraid to challenge his president, pennsylvania senator pat toomey. then a deadline for u.s.-china trade talks is also fast approaching. we the ig into how that entire continent will reshape our world. we also ask the future of asia joins us. plus -- ♪ what a wonderful world.
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welcome to the program, everyone, i'm christiane amanpour in london. will it be shutdown, the sequel? hopes are fading fast for a deal to avoid the second government shutdown in less than a month after congressional talks broke down over the weekend. it means that hundreds of thousands of federal workers could be furloughed again this friday. the point of contention is, well the same. migration and the border wall. democrats are demanding limits on the number of unauthorized immigrants that can be detained by the u.s. immigration and customss enforcement agency. meantime the president mulls over declaring a national emergency to get his $5.7 become for his wall. something that's got even republicans up in arms. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell previously warning, mr. trump the congress would like to overrule any such executive action on that front. republican senator pat toomey seems increasingly comfortable,
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breaking with the president on major issues like trade, even publicly disagreeing with him as we discuss when he joins me from friday. senator pat toomey, welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> so we're talking amidst sort of a backdrop of another looming showdown, another potential shutdown. i want to ask you to sort of delve in a little bit as to why you are gaining a reputation, to sort of differ a little bit with the president and come out publicly against some specific issues, whether it's syria, trade, tariffs? >> well, you know, i think it's really quite simple. i'm elected separately from the president and the people of pennsylvania expect me to do what i think is right. when i agree with the president, as i often do on tax reform, on regulatory relief, on judicial nominees, we work together and i'm very happy to work with the president. but when i think he's mistakes
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taken, when i think he's advocating policy that's fought good for pennsylvania and america, then it's my job to stand up and do what i think is right. >> do you think that more of you are willing to do that? because the congress said it's in republican control seem to be reluctant even on issues sumpas the ones you are talking about. you think it's right to actually push back on things that affect the economy, the american people, whether it's trade, tariffs, automatic rest of it. do you think there are more and more people willing to do that? >> well, i this i the senate has done that, you saw the recent vote, senator mcconnell, himself, introduced an amendment that really is critical of the administration's proposal on syria. there has been a lot of pushback from republicans in the senate about certain aspects of the president's trade policy. but if you look in the first two years, the president's
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remarkable successes generally were consistent with republican orthodoxy and so republicans were, naturally, quite happy to cooperate. >> okay. now that's interesting, consistent with republican orthodoxy. so now let's talk about what's happening right now. it looked like there may be hopes that a government funding bill could be reached the deal could be reached. but apparently over the weekend, things went a little south. what do you think we're going to see? are we going to see a deal or another shutdown by the end of this week? >> well, i certainly heap we see a deal. we'll get a briefing later today from our colleagues members of this conference committee and learn the status of that but to me, first of all, i think the president made a reasonable request for the border security measures that the border patrol has asked for. i understand that some of our democratic colleague versus newly decided that wall funding is somehow unacceptable. well, i think the obvious solution is a compromise, we
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settle somewhere in between. i'm pretty sure the president is willing to compromise and i hope the democratic party leadership is willing too also. that's the way these disputes have been settled in the past. that's way it should be settled today. >> where do you think should be a place where the president could compromise? as you say irks it's not new, actually the democrats have resisted this $5.7 billion wall ticket for a long time and the president just tweeted the wall will get built one way or another. and some are concerned that that might mean he invokes a national emergency? >> so, no, i would say that the opposition to the wall is actually quite recent. just last year, every democratic there are voted in favor of $25 billion of additional border security, which would have included constructing portions of the wall.
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the request from the president, from republicans is not for a 2000-mile continuous wall. it's to simply add somewhat to the existing physical barriers, the last four consecutive presidents have added to this system of barriers along our border, two democrats, two republicans. and the border patrol is suggesting we need to add some more. i don't know exactly where the president will end up landing, but i don't think that his position is $5.7 billion or nothing. i think the president is willing to compromise on that figure. i don't know exactly where. but i think a deal could get done. >> what do you think, what will you say if there is an attempt to, you know, exert executive power and declare a state of emergency or national emergency to do that? in other words, to get funding without congressional approval? >> yeah, so i'm hoping we don't go down that road. i'm still studying the legal framework and i don't know exactly what legal frame the administration might invoke if
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they decide to do that. there are options available to them. it's not clear to me that these circumstances really if it the intent of that law, it's probably a grey area in terms of the legality of it. and so that's why i'd rather not go down that road. this should be resolved through the legislative process, through a compromise, that's the right way to solve this problem and, hopefully, we still have time to do that. >> so in pure political terms, just the politics, the "art of the deal," so to speak to coin a phrase, do you think the president essentially overplayed his hands the first time around? a, allowing the shutdown, b, allowing it to go on for so long? and sort of retreating without having won? >> look, we can argue about these tactics. i think all along it was clear to me that the administration and republicans in the senate were willing to negotiate on this, the person who refused to negotiate was speaker pelosi. she made it very clear that all
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of a sudden a wall is somehow immoral, which is kind of breath taking that she would think that. she made it clear that the only acceptable dollar amount for further expanding the existing walls is zero. she made it clear she would not even negotiate while the government was shut down, so the government has reopened now and hopefully she's no longer in this completely inflexible mode and hopefully she's opened to a compromise somewhere between zero and 5.7. >> okay. so, i mean, one last question on this, look, it wasn't resolvable when the republicans controlled both houses of congress. now as you correctly mention they don't and the democrats control the house. is it going to be any more easy to resolve this? >> it was always going to require democratic support because, as you know, a funding bill in the senate requires 60 votes to pass and republicans have never had 60 votes in the senate, certainly not in recent
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memory and not in the last congress. so it was always the case that there had to be some bipartisan support and, by the way, there has been, as i mentioned earlier, every democrat in the senate voted for tens of billions if border security, including construction. if they're consistent with where they have been in the past, this could be easy to resolve. i'm not suggesting it is easy, we certainly should be able to get there. >> let me move on to tariffs. here is yet another deadline looming, everybody is concerned about the march 1st deadline to reach a deal with china. this is what the president said about this issue in the state of the union, then we'll discuss it. >> tonight i am also asking you to pass the united states reciprocal trade act. so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an american product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the exact same product that they
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sell to us. >> so, senator, you are gaining a reputation as being a pretty harsh critic of unilateral imposed tariffs and you are, apparently, you put forward a bill to limit your authority to impose these tariffs. do you feel that by sticking your head over the -- on this one, you can gain more momentum, support, tell me why you are taking this stance so publicly? >> simply because i think it's the right thing to do. the president i disagree how he characterizes the tariffs he wants to impose are taxes on americans. it's not a tax on spokeswoman foreign country. it's a tax paid by americans when they choose to purchase something that might originate overseas. i think that in the case of the tariffs on steel and alluminum, they've done much more harm than good and with respect to canada a mexico, my goodness to suggest it's a national security threat
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for us when, in fact, we have a trade surplus even in steel with canada, which is our closest ally in the world and has been for centuries. so, look, i think it is time that we restore to congress the responsibility that the constitution gives to congress with respect to regulating trade with other countries, including the establishment of tariffs. that's very clear and unambiguous in the constitution. congress mistakes takeningly in my judgment gave that authority away to the executive branch. this is a good time to claim it. >> sow mentioned mexico and canada, so that brings us to nafta and the new, let's see what is it called now the usmca, i want to play what the mr. president said about that and then ask you about where you think that one is headed. >> i hope you can pass the usmca into law so that we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand
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american agriculture, protect intellectual property and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four beautiful words, made in the usa! >> so, do you think that will happen? i mean, that's just spell out, is the united states-mexico-canada agreement, will it bring more jobs? and do you think this is the right alternative to nafta? >> no, i'm not a fan of this, because if you look at the changes that were made in the usmca as compared to the existing nafta, the changes are meant to diminish trade among the three countries and that's the opposite of the purpose of a continental free trade zone. a continental free trade zone has been very good for america. in my state of pennsylvania, since nafta was signed, we have quinn up theled our exports to
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mexico, for instance. it is a good thing for us to have access to low cost range or products from canada around mexico. what the -- and mexico. what the new usmca does, is it diminishes our trade and puts conflex regimes and requirements on automobiles manufactured in mexico. there is no precedent for that in a free trade agreement and it's inconsistent with the spirit of a free trade agreement there is an arbitrary and artificial expiration date, with i can only have a chilling way to invest in the three countries. there is a dramatic reduction really almost elimination of the investor state dispute settlement, the mechanism by which american investors, especially, would get a chance to adjudicate a problem they would have with the host country. so in my view, there are some good features, i should point out. there is some better protection of intellect cull property in some respects of what we have
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today. there is a title on digital trade, which is a useful modernization, but the big items in this agreement, it seems to me, diminish trade and that's why my suggestion to the administration was, let's address those items in the implementing legislation, let's improve on that, and get this thing ratherified last year when republicans were in complete control. now, it's not clear to me what 's not clear to me that speaker pelosi is going to prioritize passing president trump's nafta 2.0 and i worry about the direction she'll want to take it. >> can i move on to gun safety, actually? because that's another area that you are obviously interested in. and this week, we're going to see the first anniversary of the parkland school massacre. you don't particularly you know you are not really a maverick on this issue, but you support
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tougher background checks for gun purchases. again, it's different, it's new. and it's a question, why take on the gun lobby? and risk losing that kind of support or do you think this is the moment where public opinion is booking your position? >> yeah. actually, i think the public has been backing my position for many years. you know, back in 1999 when i was a freshman member of the house of representatives, republicans very broadly supported and the nra supported expanding background checks. actually it was democrats that took down the bill for other reasons. i still think it makes perfectly goods sense to require background checks on all commercial sales. i'm a big believer in the second amendment. but you lose your second amendment rights if are you a violent criminal or if you are dangerously mentally ill. so a mechanism when somebody is
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in one of those categories, it's common sense and not want an infringement on the rights of law abiding citizens. so i still believe this is the right thing to do. i'm trying to generate more support on my side of the aisle for it. >> and do you think there is that support there? i mean, is it there for you to generate? and do you ung the nra can see that it needs to maybe you know meet the prevailing ties and currents of public opinion in order to survive? >> i'm not sure the nra did not support this when senator man chin and i went down this road, actually several times, a little while back. i'm not sure they've had a change of heart on this, but, look, you know, every individual member of congress has to do what they think is right. this is something that i think is important. i think it's right. it doesn't solve the problem of gun violence by any stretch of the imagination, but our legislation would make it more difficult for someone who
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shouldn't have a gun to acquire a gun. so i don't know whether there is enough support among republicans to get this done, but i'm going to take a run at it and see if we can make some progress. >> i wonder whether you think there is enough support to do what you and the democratic senators wants to do, that is compel the president to have an actual plan, a strategy, an alternative for syria before pulling out all the troops? how -- how much leg does that have, do you think? >> well, you know, we didn't get a chance to have a vote on our amendment, which would have required that and would have, you know, sort of lied out the priorities that the members of congress think is important with respect to syria. so we didn't get that particular amendment voted on, but senator mcconnell offered an amendment that was really meant to go at the same idea with some different suppose fwisty. his amendment passed by a pretty
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healthy margin and the underlying legislation passed as well. so the senate is on record advocating that the u.s. president in syria be only withdrawn if certain conditions are met. but as you know, under our system, a great deem of latitude is given and the prosecution of a military conflict to the commander-in-chief, so it's going to be very difficult for the senate to really control that, but i do think it's important that we weighing in with our priorities prior to this deadline that the administration appears to have set. >> really interesting, senator pat toomey, thank you for joining us from pennsylvania. >> thanks for having me. well, as washington struggles to make a deal to keep the government opened, overseas the trump administration is work, against another type deadline with another round of u.s.-china trade talks kicking off this week in beijing, amid rising fears that the two world's largest economies will fail to make a deal march 1st at which point the u.s. is
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threatening to crank up tariffs on $200 become of chinese goods, which could trig ter same back from china. much is invested in the relationship with that asian powerhouse, but for my next guest, china is a distraction, author of "the future in asia" hannah argues the west must view asia and not just china as a powerful economic force. he is joining me from new york. welcome to the program. >> thanks so much. >> let's just take the first nitty-gritty, then we'll go into the bigger picture. how much do you see is at stake and possible to resolve this now trade showdown between the united states and china and get another round of tariffs and you know as you just heard senator toomey say, it's the tax on the american people. >> that's exactly right. if one side might be seeing pain, we see consumer confidence in coin, for example, that may be more sick electrical rather
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than structural. meanwhile the senator is absolutely correct that industry after industry in the united states, by which i mean soy bean farmers, other food exporters -- passed on to consumers, the text -- in china, across -- at some degree, large or small on exports to foreign markets, particularly to rising asian, indeed -- excise face-saving gestures before the end of the month and i think that that's certainly on track to happen. but the bigger picture is certainly one where china will continue to try to displace foreign technology, foreign imports in its value chain and aggressively continue to export with its national champions, to conquer foreign marketings as well. >> let's stay quickly on this one for a second. i want to play you what
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secretary many newspaperen has said abo -- mnuchin has set about the process of these talks. >> right now the intent is that we meet this dead line. as you know the president is involved in a very detailed way in these negotiation, ambassador lig lighthauser and the time update the president weekly, in many cases daily. he's involved in these issues. if there are remaining issues we can't get closed, i think president trump expects he will sit down with president xi and address those issues. >> so, you know, that's an interesting statement to end on, that if the you know sort of workers continan't get it done, president trump believes in the face-to-face or voice-to-voice between the top leadership. people can get something done. what chances of that do you think? >> i think it would be unfair to the worker bees to say they can't resolve all the issues. the fact is they are working on all of the issues and that each
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issue has a different time line. that's really what's going on here. we accept they will reopen their mark osar they will redo you us the reciprocal tariffs on exports, they said they are going to do and are doing, is that enough to forestall trump's raising tariffs on the final batch of $200 billion worth of chinese exports? i think they are going to get there. at the top level it is worrying to many people in diplomacy and trade or otherwise that the president would allow himself to simply take the word of a foreign leader, rather than allow things to be more legally or you know circumscribe informal agreements, because, of course, he's going to believe, president xi that they're making all efforts to reform their economy to open. he's going to send other -- there are other arrows in the quiver that china has, it has a major effort this year around capital liberalization, opening its debts. they will promise american
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investors will have enhanced access to those. remember that finance is trademarks of dollars for china. when we are talking trade, we are talking billions. let's be clear there is a much broader set of issues on the table here. they will work through them incrementally, i'm sure. >> let's go broader, basic alal the substance of your book. i am really fascinated by one of these things, you point out in terms of trade, china's priorities are number one regional partners, number two europe and number three america. that's kind of amazing, because we do here president trump and the administration saying china will have to do x, y, and z, whether it's trade or north korea because they value the relationship with the u.s. so much. >> i'm very glad you brought this up, because there is a difference between the two largest economies in the world and the two largest trading powers in the world. the two largest trading powers are those that represent the larger proportion of trade and
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america ranks third in that area because actually north america in general and america in particular have the most self sufficiency autoarchy you might say, asian powers are very dependent on trade, in fact as you ra italy quoted, china's largest trading partners as a block are its neighbors. if you add up carolina's trade with japan, with south korea, southeast asia, windia, russia, so forth. it far exceeds china's trade with the united states. second most important is the european union as a whole, which still represents a larger share of global trade than carolina does so what you actually have happening right now is a process where in the longer term, no matter what happens in these ongoing bilateral trade negotiations, there is many players in this trade war. we're ignoring the other ones. what is happening right now is that china is seeking to substitute its diplomacy on whatever imports it does get from the united states with its neighbors. if it's not going to buy as much
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oil and gas from america, it will get it from russia. semi conductors, components, why subject yourself to the political manipulation, even if it's justified of the trump administration's export controls if you are china when you can get those same components from japan, south korea, taiwan, which are very high-tech economy. this is what i call in the book permanent substitution, what china will do is have a excise that doesn't disrupt the supply chains or the goods from the united states. in the long run, it obviously wants to permanently institute any diplomacy it has on the u.s., of course, japanese, south koreans, europeans are all too eager to displace american technology and exporters in that market. >> okay. so this is really interesting, you say that, you know, much of people talk about asia, they automatic ally think about coin. it's a huge big powerhouse, you say asia is mump, much bigger
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and spans a huge and professionally sort of unexplektd century. you say the asian century is even bigger than you think, far greater than coin the new asian system taking place is a multi-civilization order spanning saudi arabia to japan and russia to australia. linking 5 million people through trade, finance and infrastructure networks that together represent 40% of global gdp. u are saying about priorities and size of market. is the u.s. missing out when you put it in these stark terms? >> yes and no it's missing out in a sense by not joining the transpacific partnership trade agreement, for example the u.s. is giving itself a disadvantage or position with respect to fast growing asian markets. you know, as the senator previously had pointed out, canada and mexico proportionately have almost the same deficit to china as a share of their total trade than as the
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united states does. but their response is not to launch tariffs against china. it's to join the transpacific partnership trade agreements so they can have better access to asian markets, hopefully they're trying to to have bilateral trade with china. the response is to want to compete more. the other as i point out the fast growing marks of the rest of asia, if you just take south asia and southeast asia from pakistan to india, myanmar, indonesia, thailand the philippines, soft, that is 2.5 billion people, a billion more people and some economy versus a faster rate than china, if they grow 5% they will equal china's gdp in five years. have we overfixated on china because it is one single market? yes. is it time or too late to go after not just coin but these
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fast growing rapidly urbanizing young populations, yes, also yes. >> you know you mentioned the tpp. obviously, president trump pulled the u.s. out of it. there is a whole new one that's been under way, the ctpp. but also there is another one in the works right now. another big asia-pacific trade deal rcep, regional comprehensive partnership. >> that is a lot of initials. however, what does it actually mean if, if the trump administration, you know, doesn't partake in the whole protectionism, america first, is continued to be its trade policy? >> the regional comprehensive partnership is one of the acronyms that embodies the idea that i talk about in the book which is asia first. we are obsessed with this idea asia first. but asia has been doing asia first for quite a while,
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basically since the collapse of the soviet union almost 30 years ago, asian economies have been pursuing the resurrection of the ancient road back 1,000 years, times more interactions, more trade, more commerce with each other than the rest of the world. just to be clear, that is already too true today as we already discussed, asians trade more with each other than they do with the rest of the world. >> that is going to accelerate because you have the energy trade from the persian gulf suppliers to thirsty east asian markets the growing volumes of infrastructure from the initiative. have you many new trade agreements, all of that before the trade war adds up and points in the direction of asians want toblg internally integrate further. they have so many exemptarities, the industry centers or the commodities producers, they still have a lot to exploit. so i fully expect asia first to continue no matter what american policy is. >> and you actually also sort of
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pause it and kind of reverse export syndrome, you know, you say the world has gotten used to hearing america first, but it's ready for asia first as you just said, what happens when asia no longer produces for the west but the west produces for asia? and when asians don't aspire to live like the west but rather western societies wish they had asian stability and farsighted leadership. get ready to see the world and the future from the asian point of view. really? >> oh, absolutely. now, let's break it down by the economic or commercial issues and the political and maybe cultural issues around pride and confidence. first of all, in terms of them no longer producing for us, but us producing for them. if you look alt everything from luxury brands and cosmetics to hollywood studios, automobiles, high-tech goods electronics, sure, america is a huge market in many cases the largest
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consumer market in the world for these categories and top destination of sales. but ask yourself what the market examization will be of those companies, were it not for the fact they also have tremendous exports in sales in ace kra. just take the example of apple. look at what has happened to apple's valuation as a result of the reports that it has declining revenue in china. that's why it's rapidly shifted to say we are also going to manufacturer or assemble iphones in india as well. so if american xaebs, western companies, don't diversify their footprint around asia and lose out to asian competitors, they will be smaller and smaller companies. there is no question about how important it is to sell into asian markets today. they are the fastest middle class in the record. >> also, we talk the second the corollary point to that was that you pause the notion that potentially western societies, free, democratic, culturally diverse, politically religiously, all the rest, might
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aspire to live like asian societies and envy their stability and farsighted leader scholarship. that's the strength. >> if you look at the trump and brexit phenomena today and imagine yourself being a millennial or young asian person who has grown up since the 1990s or 2000s, it's not a stretch at all, it's the world 5 billion asians live in, in which they do feel thigh have experienced a quantum leap in economic growth and modernization and political stability all this time, they the young asians, many of you know and met and i liver among as i travel across the region, feel what i said and you quoted to be perfectly natural sentiment. it's not about rejecting democracy i want to be absolutely clear. >> your westerners might want to live like that. not other asians? >> well, there is two things. a couple facts we need to remember, first of all more asians live in democratic societies than the rest of the world put together in just the
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next few months, india, intfeesia, the philippines are having elections. they're 1.8 billion. so asian versus plenty of experiences for democracies, there many systems. it's like a mistakes take to conflate all of asia with china. eighth mistakes take to talk about asia if it is a mon lithic set of author 25ir7b powers. it certainly isn't, it's the most culturally diffuse regions of the worlding, then they've learned a lot from the inheritance, parliamentary systems, a strong civil service. they have learned a lot from the american world of the 20th century which is to say the love of the freedom, entrepreneurial system. asian is not those legacies that have made the west great and continue to define its greatness, it's about asians taking those ideas, incorporating them, carrying them forward. now, asian versus maybe a demps for a strong executive with a
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long-term vings of natural modernization. some of the most popular leaders in the world as you know based on public opinion, service, we often talk about them and report about them for their very ill liberal kind of characteristics, there is a lot to criticize about them. however, ask yourself why they have such strong support. it's because they're also trying to deliver a collective vision of national proverb. think about where they're coming from, where they have, what they have achieved so far. you can fairly well understand why many asians are confident in their systems and don't look to it's really fascinating a and the horizon you laid out is huge. the future is asian. thank you so much, indeed, for joining us. so now from the world of trade and other sump issues to the uplifting power of music. and last night's grammys. alicia keys drew raves for her tone as host and there were some
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very special guests, former first lady michelle obama was brother on the stage in what turned into a celebration of love, unity and diversity. it's a very welcome note for these times, jazz musician john battiste was there nominate food tr very first time himself and you will know him best as band leader on the late show with stephen colbert. and he has many strings in his bow, including an upcoming broadway music am, with i he talked about with our walter issamson. >> john battiste was in the show. >> yes, indeed, so your new album is called hollywood africa. >> that's right. >> what does that mean? >> well, it's a statement about the history of the music and where it came from the history in this country particularly blues, jazz, rock n rom, soul music, gospel, all the stuff i'm playing on the recording.
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[ music playing ] african-american entertainers and performers, these artists created this sound that influenced the world and no matter the amount of oppression, marginalization that they faced, it was divine. it had something in it that was meant to reach the world and heal people and bring people together. so it's kind of framing the music that was created here and also paying homage to them while me being the living in that chain takes it forward and reinvents it and exposes it to new people. >> there seems to be an under current in the album that to be, having the main stream appeal you got to make excises for the audience. >> well, in that time, in particular in the past in our country is fraught with a lot of racial and social issues that are people from having the freedom to be themselves on stage. we know a lost great performers had to wear a mask and not be who they were in the public and
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they were these geniuses who wanted to stay really deep profound complex things and they wanted to be treated or taught, they were taught to believe that they were lesser. and a lot of those people fought to really push beyond what was placed on them by society. so for me, i don't have to wear a mask now as much as a lot of the greats who i look up to, you know, louis armstrong, all of the greats that i have studied and really have been moved bit. ♪ bright, blessed day >> although i still am in the spotlight and there are certain things i do have to excise on, i don't to do it nearly as much as them. i really want -- to, it's our
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super power. i feel a lot of times in our country, we forget that these are truly american ideals in the music that we can learn about togetherness and learn about integration and learn about how everything that we aspoo irto be, that's written in our constitution can actually be achieved and has been achieved a lot of times first in our music. >> louis armstrong, throughout new orleans like you did. >> new orleans is a city of mass. when you were growing up in new orleans and you've watched louis armstrong wearing his mask, waving the handkerchief, what did you think? >> honestly, i thought he was on -- the thing is, you look behind that understanding history. i'm a kid at the time. maybe even earlier than a teenager, and in fact the camp that we all went to at the time was called the louis armstrong
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summer jazz champ and you would go there and you would be exposed to the wide history that comes from new orleans and louis armstrong being the progenitor of many of the things we do today. but i didn't really understand why he had to do that. in the year 2000, people didn't have to do that on stage. they didn't have to smile and do all this stuff. but if you started the time and the context he's a genius of the highest order. [ music playing ] he has to do all of these things. you still have the fabric of that in our culture today. black performers still have to deal with certain things that
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are a part of our lineage, whether they know it or not. it's not just black, a race issue. it's a cultural issue. that's something that we still litical climate of today and we look at all the things that we are dealing with socially and people trying to become -- their consciousness is elevated and these are all things that have been a part of the pab brick of our country and in our entertainment feeds us, so if we want to deal with that we have to address it. >> one of his great songs, louis armstrong's songs that he made popular st. james infirmary. you have reintrerptd for this new album. it's being nominated for a grammy. but what did you do with st. james infirmary and maybe you can show us. >> yes, so the album is very intimate to me at the piano for the most part. t bone burnett and i really went
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to a place that was the most raw, stripped down place that you could go to make an album. cuts all of the lights off. we went to a church in new orleans, for three days it was me and the piano. t bone wasn't in the. >> reporter: i couldn't see, it was dark. i channelled all of the spirits of i call them ancestors they wanted to channel through the music we read the literature, i tide did one take of most of the stuff, but st. james infirmary was a stream of consciousness, i did the tempo slow like a durir to create a sense, my left hand is doing that and over the top i'm thinking, ♪ i went down to st. james ♪ infirmary
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♪ and i saw ♪ i saw my baby lying there [ music playing ] ♪ she was stressed out on a long wide table ♪ ♪ so sweet so calm ♪ ♪ so fair >> and you are doing that and it seems to be showing the pain behind the joy of some of that music of louis armstrong. >> well, that's what it's all about. people all across the world are in pain these days. people all across the world need healing and i wanted to create an album and a beacon in the culture that not only teaches us about our history and all of the great things that we have created, but something for everybody across the world to listen to and meditate to and reflect to and lead them to a
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place of hope not despair. >> one of the sovengs was supposed to move us forward to that optimism called don't stop? >> yes. yes. ♪ don't stop dreaming ♪ don't stop believing ♪ because you know that our time is coming on ♪ ♪ so all you've got don't stop >> we are here for a short while and then when the creator says it's time, we're gone. in this moment, what do we want to do interest how do we want to be remembered? what are our legacy? what do we want to set up for the next generation so that they know better?
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you know, when you know better, you do better. that's really what the song is talking about. if you are in a place where your humanity is challenged and today with all of the stuff online, twitter, all the news, all the things bombarding you with life styles to adopt and opinions to take on, all this stuff, it can be easy to feel, you can lose your humanity in all of that. and i'm just saying, don't stop dreaming. don't stop believing. believing in the high ideals of humanity, love, hope, joy, peace. because you know that our time is coming up. we don't have time to waste. so what all you've got. whatever you have left, don't stop. >> you grew up in new orleans at age 8. you were playing with your family, the peace brothers bands, a long musical tradition there. what did you learn from new orleans that helps inform what you talked about in terms of race and the need to get
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together? >> well, new orleans had a very unique history with congo square and the enslaved people, our people had the chance to really spread the culture and infuse the culture that they've brought over into the culture of what has become new orleans. and you can see all of that and other cultures aligned a and the confluence of all of these things has created a special place for a guy like me born in you know late ''80s to come up and still have red beans and rice every monday and have music for everything, you know, music to dance to music to sleep to music to eat to. you know you got second line somebody dice. all these different things that to me i thought were normal. i thought it was how every part of the world was. then as i started touring and going around and seeing different cultures and experience and that stuff, that
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is really important as an artist to see the world beyond your block, and understand human beings, i really was fortunate to have come up in new orleans, because new orleans is a place that celebrates the spirit, the human spirit. >> and then you got mentored, too, by wintop marcelles. >> yeah. >> up here in new york at juliard? >> i went to juliard for, i graduated high school early, i still have my class ring. >> st. augustine in high school? >> purple knight. >> yeah. >> so i went from st. aug and at 17 i moved here and went to school over here at juliard. i studied two years. during the time they was there wynton was still coming that the program and when i was 17, my first year, he came in. and i had known him since i was a kid. he was like you know you want to, you want to join us on the road with the septet? ened ajoined him on the road. we went to marcy ackerman and
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performed and from there we kind of had a relationship. [ music playing ] i still calm him and talk to things about things oom working on. actually, i'm working on my first -- by large ensemble i mean orchestra, big band, rhythm section, choir. and soloist. my first large ensemble symphony. so he's now running the jazz program and marsalis is over there, running the school. a good friend of ours. so that's going to be exciting. >> how does being on the "late show" affect you, your music, your life? >>. >> requested the late show" it's a production in the sense that there is a department for
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everything. you know, graphics, research, the lighting team and the theater crew and everybody who's in the band and it's, we're all working together, every single day, korea it this show led by steven and give voice to a perspectives and the culture. and every day, we look at the news and that's what we're speaking to. so i find it to be, it's fascinating for me to be a part of that machine and to figure out how to do it better and better every day. it's like a craft. it's different than anything i've ever done. because you never really are given a second chance, it's live almost. sometimes we have done live shows. but you do it and however it was, the next day is another one, like a tissue box. it's endless, and i find that to
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be inspiring, there's nothing like playing for people who are not only in the theater but everywhere at home. >> do you spend your afternoons working with stephen colbert, looking at the news, preparing for the shows and thinking of commentary you all want to do on this show? >> i don't do that. i typically unplug from the news when i'm not working oon the show. because i find that i need balance. and it's funny because i never had been politically engage d t the degree i am now. >> is stephen making you more politically engaged? >> well, i think the times are. you have so much going on you have to know what's happening. so many people are suffering that i feel like it's a part of as a human being you got to care, right? you have to care but also just
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doing the show i want to have an understanding of what's happening, because that affects my craft. i want to be grit and we are talking about what's going on every day. and i want to connect to that in a way that's meaningful. >> hollywood africans, besides the name of your new album is a painting by a great artist. tell me about the show that you are planning to do? >> yes, it's a broadway show, so broadway musical. and his family and everyone who was in charge of his work today has signed offer to green light this project. john doyle who was the director of "the color purple" which recently won a tony, worked with sonnheim partners, in fact, he
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would call himself is working as a director. i'm writing the music, lyrics, and the story arc. and it's going to be -- in fact, i don't even know what it's going to be, but i would definitely say that it's going to inspire people to want to create and want to find that, that creative resonance that's within them. because everybody has it. and jean michel bossier was a superstar in terms of exloring who he was through his art and being vulnerable at the same time that he's enigmatic. he was so many things at once. so he's the subject. and how we explore that subject is something that we are crafting right now. for broadway. which is going to be something that i'm having a really good time doing this.
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the music that i come up with already is beyond. >> you talk about louis armstrong being somebody of great joy. is there a difference between joy and happiness? >> joy is something that comes from going through pain and coming out on the other side. happiness is fleeting. happiness is something that you feel, it's a rush. it's almost like adrenaline. but then it goes, joy doesn't go. louis armstrong had a sense of joy that you can only have when you know something. you know something about yourself and your self worth. and you understand something about the value of people and the human soul and that's really
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important. especially now there's so much that we devalue with the mudslinging with all of the things that we're doing, publicly to each other. i really find that joy for me comes in knowing that there's something better, something great on the other side. >> all right. >> and are you doing it partly by taking the song in which louis armstrong explores joy, which is what a wonderful world and you re-interpret it for your new album. can we hear that? >> definitely. [ music playing ] ♪ i see trees of green [ music playing ] ♪ and red roses too
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[ music playing ] ♪ and i see them bloom ♪ for me and you ♪ and i think to myself [ music playing ] ♪ what a wonderful world [ music playing ] ♪ >> jean battiste, i love you, thank you for being on. >> thank you all, love you, brother. >> with that lovefest, it is good-bye from us for now. that's it from our program, thank you for watching amanpour and company and join us tomorrow night.
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